Alphabet is launching a new company that mainly focuses on using artificial intelligence to find methods to discover new drugs. Google’s parent company announced that it wants to use DeepMind to get into the pharmaceutical business and develop new drugs, tools, and processes and discover what’s possible with AI.
Alphabet’s new company is called Isomorphic Laboratories that will focus on building tools and do discoveries to identify new pharmaceuticals (via TheVerge). Demis Hassibis will join the company, who is formerly known as the CEO of DeepMind. The two companies will continue to exist and operate next to each other, and they’ll also stay separate from one another.
In the past few years, the two big words were “AI” and “5G”. The latter is mainly used to get people to upgrade in hopes they can take advantage of slightly faster speeds than 4G, while AI genuinely focuses on making life easier and smarter. AI is used all around us, in our mobile phones to customize the experience and even the brightness on some devices, in our computers, in applications to further enhance some tools, marketing agencies to see how people react to certain events and actions, filmmakers and so much more.
In the case of Alphabet, the AI technology will help scan through databases of potential molecules to find potential biological targets and fine-tune certain compounds. Isomorphic Laboratories will build models that can predict how drugs will interact with the body with certain new drugs. The spokesperson also said the following to TheVerge:
“The company may not develop its own drugs but instead sell its models. It will focus on developing partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, a spokesperson said in a statement.”
It’s interesting to see this approach from an Alphabet company, but not unsurprising. Developing and testing drugs is very similar in some ways to software development, but it’s far more complicated the deeper it gets. There are far more complex structures, certifications, and procedures that must be closely followed to make pharmaceuticals, let alone testing them safely.